Herzing College started offering a Sustainable Architecture training program several years ago. This program offers an alternative to people who want to participate in eco-friendly building design, but don't want to invest years in university to become a licensed architect.
Our program trains students in the principles of sustainable architecture and the software and technical skills required to draft architectural designs.
Moncef Noual has been teaching the program since 2017—and was recently recognized as Herzing College Montreal’s instructor of the year! The honour reflects the fact that he really gets to know his students during their tenure with Herzing and goes out of his way to make sure they have the best possible experience from beginning to end.
We chatted with Moncef recently to learn more about his career journey and the sustainable architecture field in general. Here are the highlights of that conversation.
Q. Moncef, can you share a bit about your education and professional background?
Moncef: I got my Master of Architecture degree in Algeria in 2002. From there I started working as a junior architect. I also started helping other architects and technicians in my office with software, standards, and methodologies. Eventually I was promoted to architect manager.
Then I came to Canada and started working as a teacher. I’ve been an instructor at Herzing College since 2017.
Q. What’s your favourite part of the job?
Moncef: My favourite part of the job is the contact with the students. When students come to class and ask questions or say they’re struggling with an assignment, I really enjoy being able to help.
Doing the lectures is good, but providing help for students as they complete projects is the challenging part.
Q. What backgrounds do your students come from?
Moncef: This program gives students more knowledge about architecture and prepares them to become technicians. Students who take this course are usually concerned about how to solve environmental problems.
When you look at where pollution comes from, buildings are near the top of the list. One easy way to reduce emissions is to start with the building.
Students want to learn how to apply LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] strategies for sustainability.
Q. Do your students tend to have architecture experience?
Moncef: No. Maybe 10 to 15 per cent of them have architecture backgrounds. Most of our students are just interested in architecture and are starting from scratch. They want to begin a career in the field quickly, without going through the long process of becoming a full architect.
Q. What skills do you focus on in the Sustainable Architecture program?
Moncef: Students practise with many different software packages, including AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Twinmotion, Photoshop, and InDesign. We teach skills in residential design, landscaping, interior design, institutional design, and wood construction and renovation. Building codes are also covered.
Q. How does it feel to be recognized for your teaching work?
Moncef: I was not expecting it at all! I put in a lot of time and effort with the students, and to be recognized for that makes me very happy.
Q. What does it take to be successful in this training? What should students be aware of up front?
Moncef: Students should understand that maybe they won’t get a good result with the first sketch. They might need to revise it many times.
Also, you need to work in collaboration with other people. In architecture, nobody works alone. You will be working with architects, engineers, and designers, and you have to be able to collaborate to meet all the requirements and bring a project together.
Q. Are there lots of career opportunities in the sustainable architecture field?
Moncef: Right now, yes! There’s a lot of construction going on here in Montreal and across Canada, and the market is growing. Graduates of this program can work at architecture firms and construction companies as an architectural draftsperson or technician.
Q. What advice would you give a student who was considering the Sustainable Architecture program?
Moncef: They need to complete the homework and spend the necessary time. Sometimes students are focused 100 per cent on the studies and they complete a great project. Other students are working at the same time and don’t have as much time to dedicate to their project.
My advice to students is don’t keep quiet if you’re struggling. As an instructor, I’m happy to set up a meeting online or in person so I can provide the necessary help.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM
The Sustainable Architecture program from Herzing College Montreal is 24 months long and includes a 13-week internship for real work experience. Training is available in English and French, and you can choose from on campus, online, and hybrid learning options.
Still have questions? Reach out to admissions. An admissions advisor can walk you through the program, discuss your interests and career goals, and guide you through the application process. They can also answer questions about tuition, financial aid, and career paths.
Click below to get full program details and chat live with an advisor. We’re here to help!